NO HELP: Man is not coping with his wife sick in hospital

Q Dear Auntie Pearl, my daughter is very sick. She is 24 years old and she is waiting to hear if they can operate on her. 

The problem is not my daughter, the problem is her husband. 

He is not doing anything, I think he is depressed or something.

He says he can’t even visit her in hospital as he works, and she’s in a government place so you know mos it’s not so nice.

He also doesn’t want to take their two kids to see her. 

Ek weet nie wat gaan aan met die man nie. 

She’s really sad and scared and he’s just being stupid about this, I think.  

I have to take two taxis to get to her and he’s not so far from the hospital, but he doesn’t want to go there. 

What can I do?

From Gatvol.

A Gatvol, Auntie can understand this is a trying, stressful and sad time for you, your daughter and the whole family. But have you thought about what her hubby is going through? 

Some men don’t easily talk about their feelings. And, for all you know, this man is just scared he is going to lose his wife and doesn’t know how to deal with it. 

Auntie can see how his actions can seem stupid and uncaring, but try to put yourself in his shoes, my darling.

Your daughter is only 24 years old and there’s a husband and two laaities, so Auntie skeem they got married very young and have young kids. 

This poor son-in-law of yours is obviously paaping and not coping at all with his young bride in the hospital, and by the sounds of it, potentially dying. 

Now Ms Gatvol, have you even talked to him about this or are you just [email protected] on his kop because you skeem he doesn’t want to go visit your daughter? 

There is no use in fighting with your child’s partner in this difficult time. You need to be there for each other and support one another. Be on the same team:  your daughter’s team! 

He’s naturally scared and unsure − same as you − so why not work together?

Talk to him about this and ask him how he is feeling and coping. 

He’s possibly just trying to keep working to support his wife, to keep the finances going, to keep the kids going and to keep things as normal as possible in these abnormal circumstances. 

Auntie suggests you talk to him, don’t skel, praat

Take a moment to talk to him over the phone or, better yet, in person. 

Offer to take the kids to see their mom, offer to look after the kids so he can go visit his wife by himself so that they can cry, and hold each other and just try and deal with this.

If, God forbid, something serious does happen and your dear daughter passes on, then you and her husband need to work together − for the sake of your grandchildren and for the sake of your daughter − keeping her memory alive. 

So take a deep breath, cry, scream, be angry − and then talk to your son-in-law. 

Being gatvol and irritated with this outjie won’t help this terribly sad situation one bit.